Francoise & Denis Clair Bourgogne Blanc Hautes Cotes de Beaune 2015
Served best with appetizers, fresh salad, and seafood.
His wife Françoise was born in Saint-Aubin, a neighboring AOC village 2 1/2 miles to the northwest (a bit longer by car). This is where the Clairs' winery is located. They have a son, Jean-Baptiste, who joined the family business in 2000 working the vines. Jean-Baptist eventually began making their white wines.
Today the family owns 15 hectares, including parcels in Santenay and Saint-Aubin. They sell 75,000 bottles a year, with about 75% of that going abroad.
A classic source of exceptional Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir, the Côte de Beaune makes up the southern half of the Côte d’Or. Its principal wine-producing villages are Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.
The area is named for its own important town of Beaune, which is essentially the center of the Burgundy wine business and where many negociants center their work. Hospices de Beaune, the annual wine auction, is based here as well.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.